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Climate control

  • Key Stage 3
  • GCSE
  • Popular Activity
  • Topical

Type: Activity
Learning Strategy: Construction
Topic: Atmospheric pollution

This activity is designed for SEN students. It revisits global warming with a simple and very visual game. As students play, they consider which lifestyle choices will reduce their energy consumption and cut global warming.

The resources were devised by the Buckinghamshire SEN Science Liaison Group.
Chair: Julie Smith – Stony Dean School, Amersham
Sylvia Barnes – Stony Dean School
Liz Bell – Stony Dean School
Viv Pollock – Maplewood School
Dave Waterman – Alfriston School
Clare Winter – Wendover House School
Ann Cambrook – The Beaconsfield School
Barbara Pain – The Beaconsfield School.

Published: 19th April 2007
Reviews & Comments: 8

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Learning objectives

Students will:
• Decide whether everyday activities are 'good' or 'bad' for our environment.
• Link their judgements to the impact they may have on global warming.

Try the activity

You will need Acrobat Reader installed to open the activity sheets.

Global warming.
11 – 14(KS3)
Environmental chemistry QCA 9G
KS4 How Science Works
4a. about the use of contemporary scientific and technological developments
and their benefits, drawbacks and risks.
GCSE specifications
AQA Core Science: Unit C1b Oils, Earth and Atmosphere
Edexcel Core Science: Unit C1 b Topic 7 There's One Earth
Gateway Core Science: Module B2 Understanding our environment
Twenty First Century Core Science: Module P2 Radiation and Life

Running the activity

As a starter, students can be invited to respond to the question on Page 1. A support sheet (page 2) of picture and word bank stimuli can be used to direct the responses in the right direction.

Pages 3, 4 & 5 are 3 sets of cards which can be printed off, copied and cut out.
Pages 6 & 7 are the game boards.

Each card shows an everyday activity. Students have to decide whether it is 'good' or 'bad' for the environment. The white circle on the card is where they record their judgement. They can use either a tick (for good – helpful) or a cross (for bad – unhelpful). Alternatively, they could use smiley / sad face symbols, or colour the circle red or green following their familiar practice. Some cards have been left blank for students to add their own ideas.
The cards are then used to play a board game which will link these activities to the ultimate effects of global warming. The cards are in sets, so that the game can be played in stages.
• Set one contains more 'bad' than 'good' cards, so the outcome of the board game indicates that we are heading for disaster unless we change our habits.
• Set 2, when added to set one should balance this out, and the addition of set 3 should 'save the planet!'

Playing the game:
This activity is best played in small groups of 2-4 students. Each student has a game board (page 6) and water /sea level cover sheet (page 7), or an A4 sheet of blue paper can be used instead. They can cut out the top of page 7 to look like waves. The boards can be laminated for re-use.

At the start of the game, the top of the blue cover sheet is placed over the game board. It is lined-up with the 'start' line (half way up the sheet), using the arrows at the side of the cover sheet as a guide. The cards from page 3 (set one) are shuffled, and placed face-down on the table. Each student in the group can have their own set, or all of the students' cards can be added together. The ratio of 'good' to 'bad' will stay the same.

Students pick up the cards one at a time. They move the cover sheet up one section if they choose a 'bad' card, or down one section if it is a 'good' card. The game ends either when someone 'drowns' or all of the cards have been used up. Set 2 can then be added to these cards, and the game played again. Then Set 3 can be added for a third game. By this point, students should be able to link the choices they make in everyday life to global warming. As a plenary, students can feed back what they have found out, and choose an activity they will remember to do to help our environment. They could make up a list of their top 5 ways to stop global warming / help our planet by choosing from the cards.

News links

BBC official website from the programme following the Srawbridge family and their attempts to produce little or no waste and remove their dependence on fossil fuels.
An animated audit of your lifestyle which comes up with action points for a 'greener' existence.
It's not easy being green
Tips for cutting the CO2 emissions in your life.
New Scientist
Scare story about global warming.
New Scientist
Another scare story – could be used as a starter.
Champion trees
Scott Pelly of CBS 60 minutes interviews NASA scientist James Hansen – a very accessible article for students. Obviously biased, but good pictures, graphs & soundbites.

Reviews & Comments

Write your online review to share your feedback and classroom tips with other teachers. How well does it work, how engaging is it, how did you use it, and how could it be improved?

Climate control

Nov 6th, 2008

4 Star

Listed as SEN KS3 but would be excellent for KS2. I've suggested that the attached primary school trial it. I may use it at a primary school Earth Summit that i am going to as well.

Reviewer: Hilary Griffiths

Climate control review

Sep 27th, 2008

5 Star

I tried this out with one of my more challenging classes and the response was excellent. There are many different needs in this class but all were able to access the topic. Many thanks to the team responsible for this resource.

Reviewer: James Browne

Climate control

Jan 18th, 2008

4 Star

I used the cards as a sorting activity done in pairs as part of a circus of other activities. It led to some good discussions. It engaged my bottom set year9 although the game did not.

Reviewer: kantha choudhury

energy resources

Dec 7th, 2007

4 Star

I have liked it, I can't wait to complete the topic Im currently doing so I can do this activity which looks great. I know my kinesthetic and visual learners will enjoy doing this activity.

Reviewer: Sibongile Ngochi

Climate control

Jun 5th, 2007

4 Star

An interesting approach, I was able to use this with my lesson abled year 8 students as an introduction to their own presentatiion on climate change
Tim Kilbey

Reviewer: Tim Kilbey

Climate control materials

May 26th, 2007

4 Star

I used the materials as part of a lesson to do with burning fuels and global warming. The lesson was planned for an inspection. Two inspectors watched the lesson - one was focussing on the role of talk (oracy) the other on AfL.

As is the usual case at my school, I did not get feedback from either of these two people but I have heard that the results were good! In particular the feedback concerning the resources was excellent.

One thing - I modified the student resources and put them into a power point, I also used some of them for a writing frame.

Is it OK to do this? Would you like to see what I did?


Reviewer: Sarah Wood


Apr 23rd, 2007

5 Star

Used your 'Richard Hammond crash activity' for an interivew. The pupils loved it and observers were incredibly impressed. Got the job too! Many thanks and keep up the great work!

Reviewer: Phil Day

Climate Control

Apr 21st, 2007

5 Star

Great to get an activity aimed specifically at SEN pupils

Reviewer: Kathryn Coxall

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